Saturday, April 18, 2015

Life By the Bell

I live by the bells
Heart leaps at the sound
Time in music
And as old as time

I live by the bells
Your cathedral or mine?
A Grandfather’s clock
It was hallway time

I live by the bells
Are we early or late?
A rhythm of loveliness
A mindful state

I live by the bells
From campus to now
The bell tower calls us
For what time will allow

I live by the bells
Better than watch
The bells take me skyward
Aloft at ear’s touch

I live by the bells
Technology need not change
Neighborhood’s watchman

Calls for day to arrange

Monday, April 13, 2015


Someone died
Someone lost a job
Someone had a wreck
Or popped two tires
Someone found out they have cancer
Or learned they are pregnant
Heard a heartbeat
Held their baby for the first time
Today someone had surgery
Today someone buried a loved one
Today was their day
And today is yours
A nurse wrote four numbers: the time of death
And we ate ice cream
Make it count.
Make every moment
A conscious moment
At the intersection
Of night and of day.

On Well Being in the Art Museum

Welcome to the place for pause, The Crow Collection of Asian Art. You can be quiet here. Just step inside off of the street and soak in a placid moment far from the stress of work and life. Here you can just be. You can be with a work of art, gazing absent of time into the intricacies of a miniature mountain made of jade in the Qing Dynasty. You can sit with a Japanese Screen of the Edo Period and contemplate your place in the world and your relationship with nature. There are no walls in this museum. Horizons take us to new landscapes. You can feel the change after just a few minutes. You are calmer. More relaxed. The rooms are dark, pensive with lights illuminating your path and revealing your next turn. This is an oasis far from the tug of technology.
You are welcomed here, welcomed to be calm, quiet and curious. 

You are welcomed to belong. We believe you can belong to wellbeing. In Asia, nature and art cannot be separated. By being in these spaces with works of art depicting the natural world, you are taking care of your being. You can find new practices like centering your breath, meditation and yoga. You can soak in not twenty objects but maybe only three. Works of art from Asia are meant to be contemplative. Art for the mind.

We know that spending slow time with art has wonderful benefits to the body: decreased blood pressure, reduced cortisol, lower heart rate. These moments with works of art, practiced with intention and pattern can reduce, even reverse the damaging effects of prolonged stress. Museums offer this kinder, gentler medicine.

Along with churches, we may be one of the few quiet (and free) spaces left in the world for personal wellbeing retreats. We offer access to tranquility and a place to think, to imagine a future where you know how to take care of yourself, others and the environment. We offer growth moments and the freedom to be curious and learn about time-tested traditions of wellness throughout Asia. And looking at art is the portal to them. Be well with us.

Remarks for Tatlin's Whisper #6

Amy Lewis Hofland
Remarks for Tatlin's Whisper #6
A participatory political artwork by Cuban artist Tania Bruguera
April 13, 2015

Please be peaceful, she wrote

Believe Art leads to multiple interpretations.

Summon the diversity of ideas. 
Summon passion to defend those ideas.
Summon freedom
Our nature is peaceful. 

Bamboo and Grey  

And Rain. And Impermanent Clouds move past. 

We can run to the river. We can run to White Rock Lake. 

Head uncovered. 

Free to say what we feel and what we know to be true. 

We are free to believe.

Art is our voice today. Art is their voice. 

Today we murmur the voices of

Pier Paolo Pasolini
Robert Mapplethorpe
Andrei Tarkovsky
Owen Maseko
Charlie Chaplin
Paul Klee
Jafar Panahi
M.F. Husain
Ai Weiwei

And today we speak for Tania Bruguera.

Our words are her words.

Our freedoms are her freedoms.

Our hope is her hope.

So bring your peaceful nature

And your full hearts  

And be aware.

Be mindful.

And brave.

Be Tania. Be her today. Be our tomorrow.